An empathetic exploration of the tragedy of losing an infant.
When a person experiences a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or the death of a baby, writes clinical psychologist Rothert in her nonfiction debut, it leaves him or her emotionally shattered, and wondering whether they’ll ever be whole again. The author has gone through this experience twice herself, and she writes that “my experience has carved out spaces within me that resonate when I hear the stories of those who have lost someone so small—and yet something so big—that it brought them to their knees.” The book examines various aspects of this journey, from the long expectation of a happy birth to the physical experience of loss and the documentation of that loss in journal entries or letters. Rothert shores up these discussions with digressions into her own story, which enhances the warm, personal tone of the book as a whole. As unimaginable as the tragedies are, however, the author stresses that people are able to get through them: “Your life after loss is still your life,” she writes, “a life that bears scars, precious memories, and the seeds of further growth.” Rothert effectively urges her readers to look for even the simplest strategies for getting through the darkest periods: “Living after baby loss, like living the rest of life, is about reaching for the next thing in front of us, no matter how small.” This repeated emphasis on dogged optimism, even in the face of unthinkable suffering, is the book’s greatest strength. The author’s reminder that all of life is uncertain feels far from glib, as it’s clearly intended to encourage readers to concentrate on each day, each moment, to find a way to endure.
A heartfelt and wide-ranging series of encouragements for dealing with grief.